Sunday, 22 March 2015

SDE Monsters 09 - Von Drakk and Nocturne

And so I come to the last of my reviews of the figures from the Von Drakk Manor expansion set. I have saved the best (in my opinion) and most powerful until last.
Von Drakk has despoiled his homeland like an eternal plague. Once teeming with life the Glauerdoom moorlands are now a haven for witches' covens, foul swamp creatures and the unquiet dead. Von Drakk cares not, so long as his manor retains its splendour and his dark appetites are sated.
As you would expect, Von Drakk is an Undead Vampire Boss. Consequently, his stats are extremely powerful. He can move 8 squares, making him incredibly fast. He has 6 Wounds - most heroes only have 5. He can perform 4 actions per Turn - most Heroes can only perform 3. His Attributes are most impressive - Attack is 2 automatic successes plus 4 blue dice, Armour is 2 red dice, Willpower is 1 automatic success plus 2 red dice and his Dexterity is 3 red dice.
Von Drakk has 2 Abilities - Blood Drinker and Dodge. When a model with Blood Drinker rolls a Heart they gain 1 Heart in exactly the same way as a Hero. What this means is that Von Drakk can heal his wounds. A model with Dodge may use their Dexterity when making defence rolls unless they are suffering from Immobile, Knockdown or Slow.
The vampire lord has 3 Special Abilities - Shapeshift, Ghostly Vigour and Tide of Bones. Shapeshift costs 1 Action and allows Von Drakk to transform into Nocturne (see below). Ghostly Vigour is an Augment ability (it only affects friendly figures) with a range of 3 squares surrounding Von Drakk. All Undead gain a +1 blue die bonus to their Attack rolls. Tide of Bones has Wave:2 (a cone that reaches out for 2 squares). This affects Bone Pile counters. The counter is removed from play and is replaced with a model with the Risen Ability (that means Rattle Bones at present). If a model is in the same square as the target square Tide of Bones has no effect.
Those who meet the gaze of Von Drakk say it is like staring into the soul of the beast. None realise how correct they are. When in the full throes of bloodlust Von Drakk is overtaken by a hideous transformation; his new form ideally suited to bringing carnage and ruin to his foes.
Nocturne is the Shapeshift form of Von Drakk and he is one extremely frightening and powerful foe. His Wounds, Movement and Actions per Turn are the same as Von Drakk's. His Attack is 2 automatic successes plus 2 blue dice plus 2 red dice (gulp!). Armour is 2 blue dice and 2 red dice, Willpower is 3 red dice and Dexterity is 2 red dice.
Nocturne has 3 Abilities - Berserk, Blood Drinker and Fly. During its activation a model with Berserk may make a single melee attack costing no action points. That's 5 attacks per Turn he can make and with his Attack stats that can prove lethal for most Heroes (yikes!). Blood Drinker is described above for Von Drakk and Fly is self-explanatory.
He has 1 Special Ability - Shapeshift, which allows him to transform back to Von Drakk. He also has 1 Special Attack, which costs him 2 Actions - Terrifying Screech. This has Wave:3 and will Stun all enemies in that cone. A model suffering from Stun discards the highest result rolled any time it makes a roll using its Will attribute. This will prove most inconvenient against magic using Heroes.
Okay, what are my thoughts on these two figures? First of all, I was blown away by how well they were sculpted. Von Drakk may appear a bit too comical but I say, so what? I still think he is a great figure. Note how he is hovering above the ground. I like that! Nocturne is one of my favourite sculpts for SDE. There is nothing Chibi-esque about him. He looks scary and powerful... and he is.
Von Drakk is incredibly difficult to defeat. His ability to heal wounds is a huge bonus to his survival chances. His stats are truly frightening and in four games using this set the Heroes have only defeated him once. However, Nocturne is even worse if you're playing the Heroes. I like playing Von Drakk but I much prefer him as Nocturne. Nocturne is a party killer supreme and some may think he is over-powered but not me. He can be killed but it is no easy feat to vanquish him, which is exactly how it should be when facing a Dungeon Boss.
As promised, here is my group shot of all the villains from Von Drakk Manor. I really like this expansion set. This was the set that convinced me to buy Super Dungeon Explore due to my obsession with all things undead. You can clearly see just how large the Crypt Spider, Nocturne and the Death Spectre are. Those three are very frightening figures, both in appearance and in abilities. This expansion set is very different to the base set and a truly welcome addition. It is currently out of production but you can still buy it on e-Bay if you don't mind paying over £100 for it! However, the good news is that it will return after the new expansion set, The Forgotten King, goes on sale in a few weeks time. If you really want it I'd advise waiting a while until it is re-released. Blax, that's for your benefit.

22 comments:

  1. Good group shot! And well done all through!
    Von Drak is really cute!

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    1. Many thanks, Johnny. Ha, ha, I kind of agree that Von Drakk is cute. :)

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  2. Oh they are just fantastic miniatures Bryan, most definitely the best til last as you say... as indeed is your painting. The face on Von Drakk is absolutely wonderful... one of your best pieces imho. An incredible group shot too - and I seem to have missed some of your postings for which I unreservedly apologise, not sure how I missed those splendid looking frogs. I don't know about you but I'm exhausted just reading about all this stuff, let alone having to build, paint, photo and research them. Thank goodness you've kindly offered to paint all mine for me when I finally get hold of a copy ;-)

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    1. I'm so glad you liked them, Simon. Painting all of the figures from this set was a labour of love but I do agree, Von Drakk has turned out extremely well.

      It''s possible you missed some of my earlier posts because I was posting every three days, which threw my regular schedule of Wednesdays and Sundays all askew. There was no need to apologise for missing them. You can always go back and catch up on the ones you missed.

      The offer to paint your figures holds true. I'd be more then happy to paint them for you. All of mine are finished now and that is a great feeling.

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  3. Lovely painting Bryan! Nocturne is a frightening beast indeed. Cool group shot, showing the size of those big monsters.

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    1. Thanks, Bob. I'll be honest with you, Nocturne scares the crap out of me! I know you guys love group shots and so do I. I had to include it.

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  4. Yep you did save the best till last. Very nicely painted on these last 2.

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  5. Very nice! Both are very suitably monstrous end bosses. I have loved seeing what you have done with these sets top job on them all.

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    1. That's very kind of you to say so, Simon. Many thanks indeed.

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  6. Excellent!!! love the liitle chap!

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  7. His transformed self is very frightening his normal self very cute a little cutie & the beast. I do love the colors you picked for them they seem just right. The group shot is awesome.

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    1. Thanks, Robert. The colour for Nocturne is unusual. It is a mix of purple and grey that gets progressively lighter with coat after coat of dry brushing. I'm very glad you liked the group shot.

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  8. The big Beasty is badass, really like what you have done with the whole group.

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    1. Thanks, TE. I am more than happy with this group. They're my favourite SDE villains.

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  9. Hmm, the Von Drakk figure looks like a naughty little boy - but the bat-thing is quite terrifying. It must give you a considerable sense of achievement to defeat such a monster, even if that doesn't happen very often...

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    1. Hugh, you are so right - defeating Nocturne did give me a great sense of achievement. It was a real struggle but so satisfying.

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  10. Those are some smashing figures and your painting style really compliments them. Top work Vampy!

    Cheers Roger.

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    1. Thanks, Roger. I really enjoyed painting all of them.

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    1. That's very kind of you to say so, Carl.

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